Ice Castles Wisconsin | Madison WI Photographer

We took advantage of the way above average February temps today to check out Ice Castles in Wisconsin Dells, and are very glad we did. The kids (aka all of us) had a fantastic time exploring the castle and enjoying the outside play time. 

Lastly, here is proof that being a professional photographer who works with dozens and dozens of families every year doesn't mean your family will just let you take lovely photos of them. Ha!

2017 Pour'n Yer Heart Out Community Iron Pour | Madison WI Photographer

Photos from the 2017 Community Iron Pour hosted by FeLion Studios and Sector 67, a collaboration project between both local artists and metal workers from across the country.

Scrap metal is melted in a giant tower-like furnace and poured into giant ladles, which are then poured into sand resin moulds created by the artists and the community. Once the molten metal has cooled the moulds can be broken away leaving the final artwork casting. 

If you are featured in any of these images or you are connected to organizing the event and would like a copy of the photos please contact me

Snow Day

Dmitri and Astraea spent all yesterday morning playing in the snow. I'm delighted by the amount of time I have with my kids in the off-season.

It was the first time Astraea got the concept of snow as a plaything, and possibly the first time the two of them have spent playing together without Dmitri trying to boss her around or Astraea getting board and trying to wreck his things in order to be annoying.

Nature is wonderful, and magical, and precious.

January Thaw

Winter is my season of renewal. 

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When I am worn down and weary at the end of the year I often think to myself, "I can't wait to stay in my pajamas and sleep for a week" but when the time for rest comes around in January I often find myself still out seeking a story to capture. Seeking something precious to be a part of. Nurturing the renewed passion for everything I love. 

I endure the hectic busy seasons of summer and fall and slide across the finish line burnt out, aching, with every ounce of creativity spent. And then January comes and I live for the abundance of family and personal exploration time that I get in the winter. A new start, new goals, new plans... and rekindled joy for the gift of being present in today.  

Photo Tips: How to Read a Histogram

If you have ever looked at that little graph on the back of your camera (or at the top of your adjustment panels in Lightroom and Photoshop) and wondered what it was?  Well, this tutorial is for you!  

A histogram is a visual graph that shows you the quantity of each tone in an image. The left side of the graph represents shadows and the right represents highlights. The “ideal” exposure represented on a histogram starts with a low quantity of pixels at the shadow end, that increases smoothly to peak in the middle, and then gradually drops off again on the highlight end.

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Photo Tip: 5 Ways Shooting in RAW Can Improve Your Photos

Perhaps you’re interested in shooting RAW but haven’t quite taken the leap yet. The bigger photo files will take up more space on your memory card (and hard drive) and there’s more work involved to process them. Maybe one time you tried it but were surprised to find your camera produced super bland, flat looking photos – what was that about anyway?

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Photo Tips: Speedlights 101

I started out as a natural light photographer like a lot of self-taught pros. Flash was intimidating and very alien to me. The only thing I really knew about it was that I hated the way my pop-up flash made my photos look.

Based on that alone I decided Flash = Bad

But sometimes there just ISN’T good natural light. Then what?

I finally bought my first external flash in 2008 (prompted by an especially dreary winter in a nearly windowless rental apartment with no natural light). I had no real understanding of why. Everything I’d read on the internet said it was “better” than my pop-up flash. I spent three months learning through reading and a lot of trial and error. By the time spring came around, my opinion had completely changed.

Flash = Really, REALLY good

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